5 Mental and Emotional Benefits Of Taking Children To The Theatre

As a parent, it can feel like you’re always looking for new ways to occupy your kids and keep them entertained, especially during prolonged periods of time off, like weekends and school holidays.

While there are lots of things you can do, like going to the park or watching a movie, it’s a nice idea to mix these up and choose different activities that can help to boost their development. And one great way to entertain and educate your children is by going to the theatre.

In most cases, theatres will allow children over the age of four unless an age restriction has been placed on the production due to unsuitable subjects or language. Plus, there are loads of child-friendly shows for you to choose from, so you can ensure the best possible experience for your little ones.

So, if the theatre was something you hadn’t really considered before, or perhaps if you were concerned that it was a little ‘too grown up’, here are five great reasons to book your tickets today.

1. It can boost their communication skills

Theatre is all about communication and storytelling. The actors on the stage use their words and movements to take the audience on a journey. They have to be completely involved in every action, in everything they say and do.

This can create an ideal environment for young children who are trying to learn to communicate more effectively with other people and can help them with their wider communication skills.

What is theatre capable of? Simon Stone at TEDxSydney

They have the opportunity to interpret what is going on in front of them, for example, understanding the actor’s body language. They can also learn from the way they use language and how they tell their stories.

2. It can spark creativity

The theatre is a magical place and shows aimed at younger audiences tend to be even bolder and more colorful. These shows let children immerse themselves in the experience and let their imaginations run wild. This is done through creative sets, catchy songs, captivating costumes and familiar characters.

But most importantly, these shows are just good fun, and what is better for sparking creativity and happiness than genuine enjoyment? And who knows, it might even spark their interest in joining the theatre and acting for themselves.

Children on stage dancing
This can create an ideal environment for young children. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

3. It will strengthen their social skills

There are several ways that going to the theatre can strengthen a child’s social skills. Firstly, there are certain rules when watching a show, even for younger guests. Children will learn how to behave accordingly, when it is appropriate to join in and how to conduct themselves in a theatre setting.

Not only this, but the more fun side of productions aimed at younger audiences is that there will be lots of other children there. This gives them a chance to be part of a larger social event and to spend time with children outside their usual circle.

They will interact with lots of different people during the experience, including their parents, siblings and friends, strangers and authority figures throughout the theatre.

They can also engage in singing, calling out and applauding the cast, giving them a chance to take part in the experience and sharpen different social skills.

4. They can learn to deal with different emotions and subjects

Even shows that are aimed at children will include lots of different themes and will challenge lots of different emotions. When you take your child to see a show, they are likely to experience laughter and happiness, but there can also be stories that elicit confusion, sadness, fear and other important emotions.

Watching these productions live on stage gives them a chance to experience and handle these emotions in a safe way. Because they know it is just acting and they can see the real people in front of them, this can be an effective way to address more adult themes than watching a film can.

perform musical spectacle
Live on stage gives them a chance to experience and handle emotions (Image Source: Shutterstock)

 What’s more, some productions will deal with difficult subjects, something that you might otherwise struggle to discuss with young children. Let’s take the Lion King, for example; this classic story sees Simba losing his dad, a very challenging and sad part of the story.

But as we’ve said, exposure to subjects and emotions like this in a safe space can be a great starting point to help kids deal with these types of emotions. It can also act as a bridge to start more frank and important discussions once you leave the theatre.

5. It gives them a healthy escape

Finally, the theatre is a great way for your child to escape from the real world for a little while.

We might not always think about it as adults, but children also have their own worries and stresses in life; even if that is something as simple as what to take for ‘show and tell’ at school, it is important to them.

Going to see a show is a great way for them to escape from their daily routine and enjoy a new experience.

And in today’s technological world, it also gives them a break from technology and a chance to do something a bit more traditional. Even if you are relatively strict with tech in your home, there’s no denying that children today are exposed to these devices all the time, be that TV, smartphones or even tablets in schools.

 perform musical spectacle "Neznaika"
The theatre is a great way for your child to escape from the real world. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

This can be particularly true for older children, especially those approaching their teenage years. So get them out of the house and away from the tech for a while, and everyone can have a well-deserved break.

What are you waiting for?

There you have it; these are just five great reasons to take your child to the theatre. Whether you plan a trip in the next school holidays or just as a weekend surprise, you’ll be amazed what an experience like this can do for their development and general happiness.

Best of all, this doesn’t have to be a big expensive trip every time. There are loads of great shows, pantos and local theatres you can get involved in too, that will have the same impact on your children.

So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets today!